Roman Reigns gives up WWE Universal Championship to fight leukemia

Professional wrestler Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, better known by his stage name Roman Reigns, has announced that ...

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 11:35 AM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 11:35 AM

Professional wrestler Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, better known by his stage name Roman Reigns, has announced that he is stepping away from the ring due to an ongoing fight against leukemia.

Reigns, a former football player who has since become one of World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) most popular personalities, announced Monday that he had been living with cancer for 11 years and that it had returned.

Blood disorders

Cancer

Companies

Diseases and disorders

Health and medical

Leukemia

Sports and recreation

World Wrestling Entertainment Incorporated

Wrestling

He said he would relinquish his claim to the WWE's Universal Championship as he focuses on battling leukemia.

"When I was 22 years old, I was diagnosed with this. And very quickly I was able to put it in remission. But I'm not going to lie, that was the hardest time in my life. I didn't have a job, I didn't have any money, I didn't have a home and I had a baby on the way," Reigns said in an emotional speech Monday in Rhode Island to kick off WWE's Monday Night Raw program.

He thanked the WWE for giving him a chance after his football career had ended.

"I want to make one thing clear -- by no means is this a retirement speech," Reigns said. "I will beat this and I will be back, so you will see me very very soon."

The crowd cheered and chanted "Roman, Roman" as he placed his Universal Title belt on the floor and left the ring.

Some of the biggest names in wrestling offered their support.

"You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support," John Cena tweeted.

"Stunned. I liked and respected him from the moment I met him. Sending my very best wishes and prayers for you, Joe," Mick Foley tweeted.

WWE also tweeted video of fellow wrestlers offering hugs and words of encouragement for Reigns after his speech.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 448052

Reported Deaths: 33085
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens714747239
Kings667377314
Bronx524684940
Nassau460522201
Suffolk459562011
Westchester377181454
New York329383178
Richmond156891085
Rockland14747675
Orange11760498
Erie10873689
Monroe5857289
Dutchess5050153
Onondaga4185205
Albany2979134
Oneida2369123
Ulster223595
Niagara1707101
Putnam156963
Sullivan156848
Broome145069
Schenectady137448
Saratoga98517
Rensselaer89542
Columbia58037
Chautauqua5359
Madison48417
Ontario45435
Oswego4183
Tompkins3900
Warren35433
Steuben34242
Fulton33124
Otsego3245
Orleans32254
Greene31918
Herkimer31810
St. Lawrence3144
Genesee3095
Wayne3065
Chemung3053
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2496
Chenango2487
Tioga22225
Montgomery2194
Livingston2018
Cayuga1952
Jefferson1600
Essex1570
Clinton1545
Cortland1500
Wyoming1315
Delaware1294
Seneca1053
Allegany951
Schoharie830
Franklin640
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler370
Hamilton140
Unassigned019
Utica
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Oneonta
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Herkimer
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Thendara
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left